Starting a new epoxy floor coating project?
There’s a lot of things to consider that will impact your decision regarding the type of flooring that is applicable for your project. Some of these factors may include the condition of the substrate that the floor is to be applied to, the expected volume and type of traffic that the floor will be subjected to and whether the floor will be subject to heat, fluid, chemical, sun & other exposure. There are many new flooring concepts and technologies and they are used in many and varied applications from hygienic kitchens & flooring to high traffic warehouses all the way through to industrial flooring.
Almost certainly one of the variety of resin floors available will be the perfect solution for your flooring requirements. This is because resin floors provide a wide array of different styles, colours, and customisations. These products not only gives the floor a great look but also lengthen its life. They can be applied over many substrate materials such as wood, concrete, steel, CFC and vinyl. Concrete is, however, the best surface when it comes to the laying of epoxy floors.
Surface preparation also directly impacts the performance of epoxy floor coating. If the surface is not correctly prepared, the service life and integrity of the epoxy flooring will be reduced. The right surface preparation will guarantee the substrate and epoxy coating adhesion which will prolong the epoxy coating system.
All of these factors will combine to help you determine one of the most important components of flooring selection, its thickness. Because resin floors also vary substantially in thickness and, often, this aspect is overlooked. Typically, you would not even be aware of the product thickness and how it affects your floor.
Your usage patterns and needs should influence not only the type of resin flooring that you will choose but also the thickness of the resin floor. Floor coatings are measured in microns (a micron is 0.001mm). For example, standard floor paint when cured is about 200 microns (0.2mm) and a sheet of A4 copy paper is about 400 microns (0.4mm).
As a general rule, the thicker the system, the longer its service life and the better able it will be to withstand damage from heavy impacts, extreme temperatures and chemicals.
Also different thicknesses are required to withstand different challenges, such as exposure to extreme temperatures. As an example while a 6mm polyurethane floor will withstand a temperature range from -25°C to 100°C a 9mm PU floor system can withstand a temperature range from -45°C to 120°C. These are particularly key considerations for commercial kitchens as well as commercial food and beverage facilities.
Epoxy Roll-Coat Floor Coating
The thickness of these floors varies from 50-1500 microns based on the number of times it is coated, and if a top coat is used. These are great for floors that get standard foot traffic and very minimal vehicle traffic. Primarily they are used to keep the surface dust free, provide some chemical protection as well as provide excellent demarcation.
High Solids Epoxies Floor Coatings
These floors are sometimes self-levelling and are usually between 4mm & 9mm thick (4000-9000 microns). These applications would use various layers of intermediate aggregates and screeds to build up these types of floors.
The general rule of thumb is the thicker the floor, the longer lasting. One thing to remember is that if you go from a 4mm floor thickness to a 9mm floor , you need at least twice as much material and, therefore, higher cost.
Also, some epoxies are 100% solids systems which means that nothing evaporates out of the 100% solids epoxy. These floors are extremely durable, and ideal for commercial/industrial environments.
You should also be aware of different factors such as the abrasion, impact, immersion, slip & chemical resistance rating. With this information you are better informed to understand how the epoxy floor responds to foot and vehicle traffic. This information will indicate how long the epoxy coating can endure impact, immersion, and other treatment without failing or degrading.
Like epoxy, polyurethane is a thermosetting polymer and considered a high performance coating.
Polyurethane flooring is generally about 70% solids (depending on the manufacturer) and a single polyurethane coating is about 2 to 3 mils in thickness. Polyurethane has more flexibility than epoxy which aids in absorbing impacts. Polyurethane also has a higher resistance to chemicals, solvents, oils, etc than epoxy and provides higher abrasion resistance.
Polyurethane also will tolerate higher temperatures and humidity and is U.V. stable so will not yellow like epoxy does when exposed to sunlight.
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We hope that this information has given you some snippets regarding epoxy flooring thickness and types. If you require more in-depth information or some advice on a project please feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help.